When the terms of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs were being hashed out, teams were hesitant to agree on playing three-game series. The reason? Chicago Blackhawks' star right winger Patrick Kane.
According to Sportsnet's Elliot Friedman, Western Conference teams were very much against the idea. Regarding the shortened series, Friedman stated, "Two out of three with Patrick Kane? I mean come on." The respect for Kane around the league is well known and many expected him to take control as the primary point scorer for the Hawks.
Unfortunately for fans in Chicago, this hasn't been the case.
By The Numbers
While players like Jonathan Toews, Dominik Kubalik, and Brandon Saad have been thriving in the playoffs so far, Kane has yet to hit his stride. In five postseason contests, the man known as 'Showtime' has only one goal and three assists along with 18 shots. While that may not look terrible on paper, it should be noted that only one of those points have come in the last three games.
In game one against the Vegas Golden Knights, Kane also put up a concerning -2 plus/minus. Both offensively and defensively, Patrick Kane has seemed lost and stagnant. Add in the fact that Kane is part of a power play that has been gifted multiple opportunities this postseason and it becomes increasingly concerning that he can't find the back of the net like we're used to seeing.
Trending In The Wrong Direction?
It's fair to say that Patrick Kane has been historically effective in the playoffs. You could say the terms "Patrick Kane" and "Playoff Hockey" go together like bacon and eggs. That being said, Kane's recent playoff appearances have been far from ideal performances. In the 2016 and 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Kane produced just two goals and seven assists over 11 games. When you are considered one of the best players in the world, these are not the numbers you want to produce. Should Chicago be worried about their star winger? It's possible, but it's important to note a few things before anybody burns the city down.
How We Got Here
While the past few playoff series have certainly been concerning, Kane was phenomenal in the regular season before those playoff performances. It also can't be overstated that Patrick Kane has recorded 127 points in 132 playoff contests. Time and again, Kane has carried the team on his back.
However, that comes with a ton of wear and tear. Being near the top of the league in points year after year is not an easy task, especially at 31. Patrick Kane needs to heat up quickly if the team wants to stand a chance against the Golden Knights, but the Blackhawks can't expect him to carry to load every time they need points. Young players like Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome need to be able to supplement star players in slumps, which has yet to be seen.